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A Modest Proposal on Method

Essaying the Study of Religion

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Russell T. McCutcheon

A Modest Proposal on Method further documents methodological and institutional failings in the academic study of religion. This collection of essays—which includes three previously unpublished chapters—identifies the manner in which old problems (like the presumption that our object of study is a special, deeply meaningful case) yet remain in the field. But amidst the critique there are a variety of practical suggestions for how the science of religion can become methodologically even-handed and self-reflexive—the markings of a historically rigorous exercise. Each chapter is introduced and contextualized by a newly written, substantive introduction.

A Modest Proposal on Method

Essaying the Study of Religion

Russell McCutcheon

A Modest Proposal on Method further documents methodological and institutional failings in the academic study of religion. This collection of essays identifies the manner in which old problems (like the presumption that our object of study is a special, deeply meaningful case) yet remain in the field. But amidst the critique there are a variety of practical suggestions for how the science of religion can become methodologically even-handed and self-reflexive—the markings of a historically rigorous exercise. Each chapter is introduced and contextualized by a newly written, substantive introduction.

Michael Lambek

To be an adherent of a tradition is always to enact some further stage in the development of one’s tradition. (MacIntyre 1988 :11) Epistemological Considerations Across the Disciplines I begin with two claims. 1 The first is that behind questions of methodology lie those of epistemology

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Edited by Peggy Brock, Norman Etherington, Gareth Griffiths and Jacqueline Van Gent

This is the first full-length historical study of indigenous evangelists across a range of societies, geographical regions and colonial regimes and the first to focus on the complex issues of authority surrounding the evangelists. It answers a need frequently voiced in recent studies of Christian missions. Most scholars now acknowledge that the remarkable expansion of Christianity in Africa, Asia and the Pacific in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries owed far more to the efforts of indigenous preachers than to the foreign missionaries who loom so large in publications. This book addresses that concern making an excellent introduction to the role of indigenous evangelists in the spread of Christianity, and the many countervailing pressures with which these individuals had to contend. It also includes in the introductory discussions useful statements of the current state of scholarship and theoretical debates in this field.

Indrek Peedu

proposed as to why this has become such a lively research topic. Among them, possibly, is an increasing awareness of the way “religion” both as a phenomenon of the world and as a research topic has been constructed during the past centuries, causing scholars to reflect more intensely on the methodological

Islwyn Blythin

MAGIC AND METHODOLOGY BY ISLWYN BLYTHIN Bangor This paper has two aims. The first is to offer philosophical considera- tions which cast doubt upon the widely held view that magic is primarily a technique of manipulation, and the second is to suggest a more adequate methodology which is based on

E. Thomas Lawson

DISPATCHES FROM THE METHODOLOGICAL WARS Review article E. THOMAS LAWSON PASCAL BOYER, Tradition As Truth and Communication: A Cognitive Description of Tradi- tional Discourse, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990, Bibliography, Index. ISBN 0 521 37417 0, 143 pages, $ 39.50. HANS PENNER

Henry A. Green

GNOSIS AND GNOSTICISM: A STUDY IN METHODOLOGY BY HENRY A. GREEN St. Andrews University, Scotland Introduction There has becn a noticeable absence in the study of Gnosis and Gnosticism of a sociological perspective. With the exception of E. Michael Mendelson's paper "Some Notes on a Sociological

Alexander-Kenneth Nagel

CHARITABLE CHOICE: THE RELIGIOUS COMPONENT OF THE US-WELFARE-REFORM — THEORETICAL AND METHODOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS ON “FAITH-BASED- ORGANIZATIONS” AS SOCIAL SERVICE AGENCIES A LEXANDER -K ENNETH N AGEL Summary Are religious institutions gaining new strength in the modern welfare state? The

Reinhard Pummer

RECENT PUBLICATIONS ON THE METHODOLOGY OF THE SCIENCE OF RELIGION BY REINHARD PUMMER Ottawa, Canada Some years ago publications on the theory and method of the science of religion were scarce (Rudolph, 1962: zgg). Recently, how- ever, the situation has been changing. The number of